Member for Maranoa David Littleproud

February 19, 2024

Nationals leader David Littleproud – the Member for Maranoa – has said he is prepared “to lead the community” in a discussion about installing a nuclear power plant in the Kingaroy area.

Speaking to Sky News on Monday morning, Mr Littleproud was asked by presenter Laura Jayes how popular he thought nuclear reactors would be.

“Well, I think … we’ve said very clearly is that they should go where existing coal fired power stations are, because then you alleviate the need for the 28,000km of new transmission lines,” Mr Littleproud said.

“I have four coal-fired power stations in my own electorate and I’ve made it clear I’m prepared to lead my community through a conversation about a small-scale modular nuclear reactor in one of those, where one of those communities, where those jobs will be protected.

“I’ll lose 600-700 jobs in Kingaroy in 2030.

“Those families could have a future. We should back ourselves with the new technology and the smarts that Australia has.

“Just take away the ban. Let’s fight this out in the marketplace. Not politicians yelling at one another. Who’s right, who’s wrong on costs? The market, if you take away the ban, will determine whether it’s feasible or not.”

Mr Littleproud was in Orange, NSW, where there has been a local campaign against a wind farm proposed near Molong.

“This is this reckless race to 82 per cent renewables, and they’re asking regional Australia to bear the brunt of it,” Mr Littleproud said.

“And in Molong, there’s a project here where farmers and even environmentalists are against it. We’re destroying the very thing we’re there to protect. We’re destroying the environment, the native environment. And it doesn’t take into account the transmission lines.

“We’re not against renewables in totality, but all these wind factories and solar factories and transmission lines are impacting us.

“Let’s pause, let’s plan, and why wouldn’t we?

“If you want to continue on with renewables, put them … like solar panels in an environment they can’t destroy, on people’s rooftops, where the concentration of power and concentration of population is, where it’s required and support families to have energy independence with a battery on the side of the house instead of us bearing the brunt of it out here.

“That would take away a lot of the need for the transmission lines and for us to lose our food security and drive up your food prices.

“We just want some common sense and these communities haven’t been consulted well enough. And we’re going to be in their corner and we’ll have a sensible energy policy that we take to the next election.

“That’s because of The Nationals, we’ll include nuclear energy.”

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